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The Hip Talk Discussion Forum was hacked a few weeks back. It has taken me a long time to fix it. The only backup I could use was way back to April 2020. All members and posts up to that date are available. Anything newer has been lost. I am sorry, but that has been the only way to get things up and running again.

Author Topic: Countdown  (Read 6937 times)

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patrick_d

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Countdown
« on: October 09, 2012, 09:16:48 PM »
My story....

I have been quietly reading stories posted on this forum off and on for a few years; now it is time to tell my own story.  In 5 short weeks I am schedule to have my right hip resurfaced by Dr. Gross and I hope that maybe my story will help someone else in the same way that so many of other stories on this forum have helped, and continue to help, me in my journey.

Today I am a 40 year old man with an athletic history that includes years of basketball, triathlons, adventure races, and orienteering runs along with all the training that goes along with these activities.  I have no doubt spent hundreds of hours running up and down basketball courts (concrete and hardwood), bike thousands of miles on roads and single track trails, and hiked/trekked/jogged too many routes and courses to remember.  And of course as a kid I played all the typical sports (none of them very well!) from soccer to baseball to backyard football and even some judo.  I was never an all-star athlete, but I always loved playing outside with my buddies, which today includes my kids.

Somewhere along the way the geometry of my hip and the activities that I participated in conspired against me and my right hip began to degenerate.  I have been told that the growth plates in the head of femur may have “shifted” during my teenage years, probably from one too many basketball charges or judo break-falls.  Regardless, at some point my hip stopped rotating concentrically in my pelvis and began to cam and slowly over time crushed away the cartilage in upper portion of the right hip joint.  From what I have read this is quite typical, albeit unfortunate, for those of us with osteoarthritis.  And now I have significant bone on bone contact in my right hip and extensive osteoarthritis.

Five years ago I first noticed that my hip joint hurt after workouts and this seemed unusual because I knew that it had been years since I had done anything with more dynamic impact than a trail run.  So I went to a local orthopedic doc and had it x-rayed.  His response was good and bad....he said my hip was degenerating and I would someday need a new one....but fortunately that day was not the day.  He gave me some prescription NSAIDs and told me to come back if it got worse.  One year later, with about the same amount of pain but now slightly more frequently, I went to see a different orthopedic doc.  He gave me basically the same story and said I would know when it got really bad and would be back.  So I started my research, figuring I had some time.  During the course of the next few years I found this website, read all I could about hip resurfacing and replacements, and talked to anyone I came across that had experience with either.

Now fast forward to the beginning of 2012, four years have passed since my last x-ray, but now things are beginning to get worse.  I no longer have mostly good days with a few painful days after a big workout.  Now I only have painful days, it is just a matter of how much pain.  I the back of my head I can hear the voices of the previous orthopedic docs....”You’ll be back....and you will know when it is time.”  It was clear to me that time was getting very near.  So I began my final search and doctor interview process, this time all for real.

I live in Raleigh, North Carolina and have access to many highly qualified doctors and knew that I was only a short drive away from two of the country's best resurfacing surgeons.  I consider myself exceptionally lucky to have so many great options.  So taking the advice from a great friend, who happens to also be a doctor, I took my research knowledge and list of questions and went on a visitation tour.  It wasn’t cheap, but I personally visited and talked to three doctors – two that specialize in resurfacing and one that does total hip replacements.

Small aside....In another part of my past life I coached many years of basketball and I recently came across these 5 points for how to pick a high quality teacher/coach.  I think these rules probably apply to selecting not only coaches, but anyone important in your life that will have a lasting impact, including a surgeon!   See if you agree....1. Avoid someone who reminds you of a courteous waiter 2. Seek someone who scares you a little 3. Seek someone who gives short, clear directions 4. Seek someone who loves teaching fundamentals 5. Other things being equal pick the older person

All three of the doctors I spoke with were outstanding.  I am quite certain that any of them would have done a very good job.  However, in the end I was extremely impressed by Dr. Gross....his professionalism, his passion, his record, and of course the stories from many of his past patients.

I will be 41 when I have this surgery and yes I am nervous (okay I won’t lie, I am pretty scared), but I am also looking forward to being able play outside again, like mountain biking with my kids, where I don’t spend more than half of the time thinking about how bad my hip hurts and struggling to enjoy the actual activity.

Well that is it for now, sorry for the long post, but I hope somebody finds it helpful.  If I think of anything else I will try to add some other comments and I will try to open a new discussion on the flip side to tell about my recovery progress.
-Patrick
Dr. Gross 14-Nov-2012
Biomet Recap - Right Hip
41 yrs old at surgery

Spanielsal

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Re: Countdown
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2012, 09:26:13 PM »
Hi Patrick, welcome! I know you've been on here a while but welcome all the same. It's a great birthday present that you are about to give yourself. I'm the same age as you and 9 weeks post op with a mini hip but have a resurfacing on the other side. In this short time I have been given back my life, so look forward, the healing process will bring you frustrations but great joy too. I look forward to reading your stories.

Sal
I'm a Hippy Hybrid!  L HR Cormet 2000 - Mr Villar, 12th June 2003 and R Corin mini hip - Mr Villar 7th August 2012

patrick_d

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Re: Countdown
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2012, 02:42:37 PM »
Hi Sal - Thanks for the welcome.  It is nice to no longer be in the background just reading other peoples comments and stories, but be a real part of the discussion group.
-Patrick
Dr. Gross 14-Nov-2012
Biomet Recap - Right Hip
41 yrs old at surgery

hernanu

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Re: Countdown
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2012, 03:10:37 PM »
Welcome patrick! (officially), those are some good guidelines for choosing a surgeon.. you've picked a great one.
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder

HippyDogwood

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Countdown
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2012, 07:54:39 PM »
Hi Patrick

Thanks for sharing as I see a lot of similarities between us albeit I am 45 and probably slightly behind you in the process. The whole concept of "you will know when it's time" still feels a little alien to me and ultimately getting anything done that has risk attached feels a big decision when you have have led a very sporting life, so mentally I am setting the bar pretty highly as to the extent and frequency of pain before I take the jump. Sounds pretty much the journey you have taken.

Hope it all works out well for you
David

Dee Dee

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Re: Countdown
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2012, 12:14:30 AM »
Hi Patrick,
Welcome from another Gross hippy!  I love your coach qualifications.  My daughter just finished her 8th year of volleyball.  Her coach for the last 5 years fits that description to a T.  She is sad that it is over.  They are planning an alumni match for next year!

My only advice is that recovery is very individual.  Get Dr. Gross to let you do PT when you feel ready.  (He is open to it!)  Be patient - it is so hard ;). Celebrate the small steps forward and expect a few set backs. 

Dee
Right HR  5-23-12  Dr. Gross
Left HR 12-5-12 Dr. Gross

WTW15

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Re: Countdown
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2012, 03:43:53 AM »
Patrick Welcome and Congrats.  Just a year ago I was in your shoes, although I'm a woman and was 46 at the time.  Scared to death of any surgery - never had one.  Scared that maybe I wasn't 'bad enough' to get the surgery (I was bone on bone and multiple cycts) and I am a 'small woman' so the first dr I saw said he wouldn't do it.  Faced with that and worsening symptoms, altering my lifestyle beyond what I would accept, I kept searching for the right doctor.  I found one, and while she did not have the number of surgeries that is recommended her (over 100 at a minimum) she was very confident and competent and met the 5 criteria you laid out (in hindsight).

I am approaching my 8 month anniversary of my surgery and Life is Great! I still have work to do with my strength and flexibilty, but I will say that my life has returned to better than normal!  I have been able to do everything I wanted to and did pre-surgery/pre-pain/pre-limitations due to O/A. 

This site has done so many things for all of us - reminding us that this is a 'marathon' not a 'sprint' and being there when you feel that "weird" thing in the middle of the night.  The people here are so caring and helpful!  And we all recover at our own pace, there is no pattern or expectation. 

Good Luck to you! 
Successful LBHR 1/19/12 Dr. Cynthia Kelly
Fear causes Hesitation and Hesitation causes your worst Fears to come true

Anna

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Re: Countdown
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2012, 05:24:48 PM »
Hi Patrick, welcome to the gang!

That seems so familiar ... the "You'll be back" quote. Six years ago I was told I would need a replacement and I feel like ive been counting down the days ever since. Im finding it really difficult to decide whether its time, although deep down I know that it is. Its like trying to predict your own future.

Anyway, good luck, I cant wait to hear your post surgery updates

Anna
RTHR - 08/08/2013 -Mr johan witt, London

OtterDriver

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Re: Countdown
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2012, 05:42:11 PM »
Looks as though you've done your homework Patrick!

Congratulations on your decision.  Easy for me to say now, but...don't be scared!

Best wishes, Bruce

patrick_d

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Re: Countdown
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2012, 08:24:45 PM »
Thank you all for the many kind remarks.  The community spirit of this forum is one of the many things I have really enjoyed while reading the posts over the past several years.  It is wonderful how supporting everyone is as each person works their way through this resurfacing journey.

DeeDee – When you say “Get Dr. Gross to let you do PT when you feel ready.”  Do you mean that you did not start the Phase 1 self PT at home right away?

For David and Anna....since the comment "you will know when it's time" seems alien to each of you right now, that means you are not ready yet!

For me there were 3 key factors that put me over the edge:
1) I went from pain only after a workout to pain every day.  The level of pain varied, but where it was once intermittent it had become always there.  I basically found myself thinking about my hip hurting every single day.
2) The pain caused me to wake up from my sleep at least once per week, now it is even more.  I understand that about 40-50% of your body weight is transferred through your hips to the bed when you sleep, so it is easy to see how O/A hip pain could cause you to have problems sleeping
3) My range of motion had dropped significantly, down to about ½ of my good hip.

I also knew I had waited long enough when a couple of the doctors looked at my x-ray from back in 2008 and told me that they resurface hips in that condition.  I had gone 4+ years on a hip that they would have already fixed.

I am certain that I could have gone another couple years without this procedure.  I have a very high pain threshold (more stories on that later), so I am sure I could continue to fight through the pain.  But it really began to be silly to have a reasonable solution available to me and make myself deal with this daily pain.  And in addition, it was beginning to affect my ability to workout and keep the rest of my body healthy, including starting to weaken the muscles around my bad hip b/c my ROM had dropped so much.

After putting all those pieces together....I knew it was time.

-Patrick
Dr. Gross 14-Nov-2012
Biomet Recap - Right Hip
41 yrs old at surgery

Dee Dee

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Re: Countdown
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2012, 07:23:21 PM »
Many docs prescribe physical therapy for their patients with a medical professional.  Some even get home therapy right after surgery.

Dr. Gross prefers that you just do his recommended phase 1 and phase 2 PT exercises in the early weeks.  Which seems like good wisdom since the device is  uncemented, and he is very careful to help his patients avoid problems from overdoing.  He also probably does not want an aggressive therapist messing up his work. 

 However, he will prescribe PT if needed, which I felt like I needed.

I am doing the prescribed exercises, but I needed a little help from my therapist because I also have spondilolisthesis. 

Hope this helps.
Dee

Keep us informed on how it goes for you!
Right HR  5-23-12  Dr. Gross
Left HR 12-5-12 Dr. Gross

imgetinold

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Re: Countdown
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2012, 02:30:05 PM »
Welcome, Patrick!  Your story matches mine very closely....the growth plate slippage....the slow decline.  I, too, had good days and bad, with the bad slowly taking over.  I was still running occasionally, but paying for it for a week.  My ROM was worsening....I could hardly reach the foot to tie my shoe.

A couple things:  I know you've read about it, but the whole process with Dr. Gross is so good and so efficient that you really have no reason to be afraid.  I know that doesn't help much, but I believe when you wake up, you'll think, "Now I know why they all say to relax".  He and his staff really are the best.

As for Dee Dee's comments about PT:  I agree.  I asked then for PT at four months, and it really helped.  I didn't want to push it earlier, and I was already up to 60 minutes of exercise biking.  But the PT can help bring back the smaller muscles much better.

You will be mountain biking with your kids next season, for sure.  I got back on mine at 7 months with no problems.  You'll do great!
Andy - Right Biomet uncemented HR with Dr. Gross on 1/11/2012......GO BOILERS!

lycraman

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Re: Countdown
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2012, 07:44:22 PM »
I agree with DeeDee with regards to PT.  I am under Mr Treacy in Birmingham and he is very conservative with his recommendations in the first 6 to 8 weeks.  The PT that is prescribed is very simple (there is an excellent video on the simple Pt on the McMinn Centre web site)

http://www.mcminncentre.co.uk/rehabilitation.html

I have also found using the static bike tremendously beneficial as it stretched my tight inner thigh in the third week when I was in agony. Each time I finish on the bike I feel so tight and stable in my hip area which has encouraged me to walk further. I'm now 5 weeks post op and I'm gradually lowering my saddle height back to normal and dropping the handle bars so that I'm increasing the range of movement towards the 90 degree position (and past that once I'm allowed).  Who know's, I might be able to get my socks on and tie my own shoelaces for Christmas!!
Left Birmingham Hip Resurfacing
11th September 2012
Mr Ronan Treacy 54mm head 60mm cup

patrick_d

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Re: Countdown
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2012, 09:23:22 PM »
The countdown continues….4 weeks to go….

Dee Dee, Andy, and lycraman – Thanks for the info on the PT.  I imagine by the 4 month mark I am going to really want to add in some more PT.  I hope that the home PT will be just fine for the first 2 months and then maybe add in some stationary biking.

Andy, I have been re-reading over and over your line about mtn biking with my kids again next season.  It is amazing how optimistic those simple words made me feel.  Thanks for the encouragement!
Dr. Gross 14-Nov-2012
Biomet Recap - Right Hip
41 yrs old at surgery

imgetinold

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Re: Countdown
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2012, 01:45:37 AM »
That's what this forum is all about, I think.

There were points in my rehab, I admit, that -- at the time -- I thought I'd never be back to where I wanted to be soon enough.  It was a little bit disheartening.

But, truly, if you keep doing the easy exercises every day and walking, you'll be good to go sooner than you think.

Next Monday, my wife and I will be mountain biking for 3 hours in the morning.  I'm 10 months out.  You'll be totally ready by the time the weather permits next spring/summer!
Andy - Right Biomet uncemented HR with Dr. Gross on 1/11/2012......GO BOILERS!

Jason0411

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Re: Countdown
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2012, 07:57:25 AM »
You have made the right decision. I went to McMinn in August last year and he was ready to operate straight away but I bottled it but McMinn said "you will be back soon" Had my op at the beggining of December. Wish I hadn't lost my nerve in the first place and got it done straight away, I just gave myself a few more months of pain discomfort and sleepless nights.

Good luck

Jas
RBHR Mr McMinn 6th December 2011.
Tripped and crushed head under cap 31st January 2012.
Self repairing.

jono

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Re: Countdown
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2012, 11:49:11 PM »
Welcome Patrick. I used to live in Chapel Hill and still miss the great lifestyle in NC. My story was like yours and you will worry constantly for the next 8 weeks or so. I am now nine weeks post op and feel like I have a new lease of life. I walk with no limp and my range of motion is back to the same as my other leg. Still get the odd twinge every so often and still learning to trust my hip but overall the results are better than I could have hoped for.

Good luck   
Gaston LBHR   14/08/12

blt01

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Re: Countdown
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2012, 02:46:29 PM »
Patrick,

Very awesome that we are scheduled for Dr Gross on the same day.  What are the odds of that and finding out prior?  I sent you a PM.  Good luck.  My story is very close to yours with the activities, etc.  I'm 45 so just a few years ahead of you.  I can't believe it's almost 3 weeks away.  I'm ready to get rid of this pain and all the crap that goes with it. And like you and very nervous.  I'm specifically concerned about how the muscles heal. 

blt
L Biomet Recap - Dr Gross - 11-14-12

phillwad

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Re: Countdown
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2012, 12:31:47 AM »
Patrick and BLT - good luck and keep smiling - you will be so much better in a few weeks

patrick_d

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Re: Countdown
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2012, 08:15:56 PM »
Countdown continues…..3 weeks out….with little hope of a miracle “New Hip in a Pill” being invented in the next 3 weeks, looks like I am very close to being another one in the club that annoys the TSA agents at airports.  :)

Continued thanks to all for your great stories and support!
Dr. Gross 14-Nov-2012
Biomet Recap - Right Hip
41 yrs old at surgery

 

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